It is understood Stephens has agreed to stay on in the role until July to transition the role to his successor.
To many in the greyhound racing industry, Stephen’s role as CEO was becoming increasingly untenable after a series of betting scandals involving staff, graders and stewards; a situation which also contributed to the fall of then GRV Chairman Nick Caley.
The failure of the Geelong twin tracks reconstruction project, to which Stephens had been appointed administrator, and the clubs losses under his oversight would too have caused consternation from the new GRV board.
The return appointment of Stephen’s predecessor Adam Wallish to a role on the GRV Board was seen by many as a catalyst for threatening Stephen’s ongoing longevity in the role.
Minister for Racing Denis Napthine today congratulated Stephens on his long and dedicated service to the Victorian greyhound industry.
“John is regarded as one of Australia’s pre-eminent racing administrators – not just in greyhounds – but across all three codes,” Dr Napthine said.
“John has contributed more than 11 and a half year years to the industry as GRV CEO and during that time the Victorian greyhound industry has gone from strength to strength.
“During John’s tenure prize money has more than doubled from $14.9 million in 2000/01 to a record $36 million in the upcoming financial year. In addition, integrity and animal welfare standards have been vastly enhanced and the financial position of GRV has been made secure.
“In all, John has played a key role in making Victoria the best place to race a greyhound anywhere in the world.
“I would like to sincerely thank John for his outstanding service and wish him all the best following his departure in July.”
GRV Chairman, Peter Caillard, expressed his gratitude, commenting that John’s achievements have left greyhound racing in a position of un-paralleled strength for the future.
“We celebrate the career of John Stephens, who has been an immense contributor to the sport of greyhound racing, not only in Victoria, but for the country as well.
“He leaves the sport in a strong position after overseeing market share grow from 13 per cent to over 20 per cent and prize-money from $14.8 million to $36 million under his guidance.
“He departs with the total blessing of everyone in the entire industry and on behalf of all involved, I wish John the best for the future,” Caillard said.